Cultivating a Community of Diverse People, Thoughts and Perspectives

Cultivating a Community of Diverse People, Thoughts and Perspectives

Cultivating a Community of Diverse People, Thoughts and Perspectives

Millersville University will continue to enhance the diversity of people, thought, and perspectives in our community because we believe it to be a source of enrichment and intellectual growth. Members of the community will be empowered by policies and practices that promote fairness, justice, civility, and accessibility. We will continue to prepare our students for citizenship in a world of increasing human diversity. We will actively advance an atmosphere of mutual respect, tolerance, understanding, sensitivity, and appreciation for the richness of human diversity through programs, workshops, dialogue, and training. The University will continually renew itself as a place where inquiry is encouraged, ideas are expressed openly, and the dignity and rights of all individuals are respected and protected.

University Success

Millersville University's Health Services hosted the Maryland College Health Nurses Association annual conference, "The Bits and Pieces of College Health," which featured presentations by faculty and staff from across campus. There were 67 nurses from 24 colleges and universities, representing six states, with topics ranging from dental care and cardiovascular assessment to the care of LGBT students and Millersville's Wellness Initiative.

The University hosted a series of events in coordination with the One Book, One Campus selection, Enrique's Journey, a work of nonfiction based on the hardships of an Honduran teenager searching for his mother. Discussions looked at the unique perspective of the experiences of illegal immigrants.

Bill RichardsonThe Center for Civic & Community Engagement & Research Project hosted its 2011 International Policy Conference, "Securing the Future: A Global Policy Conference." The two-day event featured William "Bill" Richardson (pictured right), former New Mexico governor, as the keynote speaker.

Millersville University's Black Student Union and NAACP Student Chapter, the Frederick Douglass Celebration of Black Culture and the University Theme Committee hosted the University's Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration with Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, civil rights leader/politician, who spoke on "With Justice for All: Human Rights and Civil Rights at Home and Abroad."

The University Theatre presented "The Children's Hour," a play by Lillian Hellman that caused a scandal when it premiered in 1934. All performances were directed by Tony Elliot, communication and theatre, who believes the play is a classic American drama addressing the fear of being different and giving women the opportunity to play significant characters.

The Center for Counseling and Human Development increased the number of students-of-color clients and program participants to about 16%, creating the opportunity to enhance student retention and, thus, contributing to a community of diversity.

Millersville University hosted its 32nd Annual Conference on the Holocaust and Genocide, which analyzed the representation of the Holocaust and Genocide in art and film and the influence of both on the perception of these tragic events.

Novelist and Millersville University alumnus Michael Lavigne '74 presented "A Writer Comes Home: Identity, Memory and History in Writing and Life" as the Friends of Ganser Library spring lecture keynote speaker.

A panel discussion on higher education in the county, held as part of First Thursday Latino, included a presentation by Millersville University President Francine McNairy, "The State of Higher Education in Lancaster County." This monthly networking gathering is held for central Pennsylvania's most diverse professionals, leaders and entrepreneurs.

The School of Education hosted the Pennsylvania National Association for Multicultural Education Conference. The conference, "Transformative Multiculturalism: A Paradigm Shift to Create, Innovate and Engage," attracted more than 150 higher education and PK-12 faculty, staff, administrators and students.

The School of Education hosted "Education on Location -- National Issues at Home," a week-long community dialogue to engage and inform members of the Millersville and surrounding communities about ways to improve education and to discuss challenging issues facing education.

The first-ever adult learners' week was held at the Ware Center. The week-long celebration highlighted adult learners.

The Walker Center for Civic Responsibility and Leadership within CCERP  hosted former congressmen David Minge (D-MN) and Peter Torkildsen (R-MA) as part of the national Congress-to-Campus program, reaching more than 200 students. During Constitution Week a voter registration drive was held. More than 100 voter registration packets were distributed, and Dr. Nivedita Bagchi, government and political affairs, presented a lecture on the constitution and its modern day significance to approximately 100 students and faculty. In April 2012, the Honorable Newt Gingrich, former congressman and speaker of the house, gave a presentation to a standing-room-only crowd of more than 300 students, faculty, staff and community members.

Women in Math and ScienceThe Women in Mathematics and Science Conference (pictured right) was attended by a capacity crowd of 250 students, from 50 middle and high schools, who attended the keynote address by Millersville University alumna Dr. Linda Vona-Davis '76, associate professor in the department of surgery at West Virginia University. Students participated in a number of breakout sessions led by successful women in mathematics and science careers, including several led by University faculty and alumni.

Faculty and Staff Success

For her distinguished service to the President's Commission on Cultural Diversity & Inclusion, Dr. Rita Smith-Wade-El, psychology, was presented with the Excellence & Equity Award during the 2011 Hazel I. Jackson Lecture.

Dr. Christine Filippone, art and design, organized "The Fire Still Burns: Religion and Censorship in LGBT Art," a panel discussion for students, faculty and staff, as well as the Millersville and Lancaster communities, focusing on the content and subsequent censorship of the first-ever major U.S. museum exhibition. The exhibition examined expressions of LGBT sexual identity and desire entitled, "Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture," held at the National Portrait Gallery in fall 2010. 

Dr. Elliott Seda, educational foundations, presented a workshop to teachers entitled "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Urban Teachers," at the Professional Development Day of the School District of Lancaster.

Dr. Leroy Hopkins, foreign languages, participated in a summer seminar in Berlin, Germany, sponsored by the American Association of Teachers of German, Neuer Blick, which introduced 20 American teachers of German to multicultural Berlin to develop strategies to improve participation of students of color in the learning and teaching of German. Dr. Hopkins also attended the first-ever Black German Convention, sponsored by the German Historical Institute in Washington, D.C., and the Black German Cultural Society, Inc., of New Jersey.

At the 4th Annual Lancaster Education Forum, held at the Ware Center, Dr. Dominic Scott, >educational foundations, presented on "Understanding Religious Diversity: History, Conflict and Acceptance," while Dr. Elliott Seda, educational foundations, presented a paper entitled, "Characteristics of Effective Urban Teachers."

Dr. Blaise Liffick, computer science, gave one presentation on "GSA Advisor Best Practices" at the LGBT Mid-Atlantic Conference at Bloomsburg University and another presentation on "When Anti-Gay Protesters Come to Campus" at the National Conference on LGBT Equality in Baltimore, during which time he also attended the day-long LGBT Campus Administrators Institute.

Drs. Leonora Foels >and Karen Rice, social work, presented a workshop entitled "Diversity and Social Justice: A Journey of Self-Discovery" at the annual Pa. National Association of Multicultural Education Conference: Transformative Multiculturalism: A Paradigm Shift to Create, Innovate and Engage, held at Millersville University.

Mr. Hiram Martinez, social equity and diversity, received an award for his contributions to educational excellence at the Lancaster Education Forum sponsored by the Adelante Latino Education Committee.  He was also elected secretary to two volunteer boards of directors including the Global Awareness Society International, based in Bloomsburg University, and the Spanish American Civic Association, in Lancaster.

Dr. Rich Mehrenberg, special education, was accepted to serve as an expert reviewer for the National Professional Development Center on Autism Spectrum Disorders, where he will recommend evidence-based intervention practices for individuals with autism.

Program Success

Urban Education Immersion ProgramSixteen elementary and early childhood education and secondary education students participated in a two-week Urban Education Immersion program, the Philadelphia Urban Seminar (pictured right), organized in collaboration with school districts in Philadelphia, to experience the dynamics of working in inner city schools. Millersville has participated in the seminar for the last eight years, and program participation has increased each year.

Faculty involvement in the Color of Teaching program expanded to departments such as elementary and early childhood education. In total, there are more than 50 trained Millersville undergraduate student mentors, 20 faculty mentors (from Millersville and P-12 schools) and more than 40 K-12 student mentees in the program. An additional 130 K-12 students came to campus for Teacher Education Day, a conference promoting teaching and related careers.

African American graduate student enrollment increased by 24 percent in fall 2011, and Latino graduate student enrollment increased by 20 percent. Academic Affairs reported an 11 percent increase in total enrollment of African American and Latino students from last fall.

The Millersville Scholars Program enrolled 102 students in fall 2011. An unprecedented 83 percent of the first cohort (summer 2010) returned for their second year, which is consistent with the University's general second-year persistence rate.

Judicial Affairs established and implemented a Judicial Advocate program for the purpose of advising students. Faculty and staff were trained as advocates to work with students requesting assistance through the judicial process.

An agreement was established between Millersville University and Jiangxi University of Finance and Economics, Nanchang, China, meeting a strategic institutional need for intensive collaboration with a Chinese academic institution.

Student Success

Art and design students at Millersville won four of six awards at the Design for Development competition (pictured top), held in Washington, D.C. This national competition is sponsored by the Roots for Development Project, an organization that helps impoverished communities in Haiti obtain resources to manage their own development and received more than 100 applicants.

Jeremy Young, a senior geography major with a minor in history, worked at the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission's Bureau for Historic Preservation in Harrisburg as part of The Harrisburg Internship Semester program. With a goal to revitalize America's decaying cities, Mr. Young spent 13 weeks working with the community, individuals, local governments, and state and federal agencies to educate citizens.

Millersville University and the Millersville University Marching Band hosted the Cavalcade of Bands, Liberty Class Championships in November, one of four championship classifications for high school marching bands having between 59-83 members. The event brought more than 1,500 people to Biemesderfer Stadium.

Millersville's Empower Peer Educators were awarded the 2011 Bacchus Network Area 11 award for Best Student Program for their "Real Beauty, Real People Campaign." The campaign mirrored the Dove Real Beauty Campaign, featuring a social media campaign utilizing students to promote healthy body image.  Students from the Empower Peer Educators, Black Student Union, NAACP, Allies, and University Activities Board participated in the campaign; and each organization sponsored an educational program during Body Image Awareness Week.  Seven students were in attendance at the conference at DeSales University. The students were selected to present two of their educational workshops "Sex Goes to the Movies" and the "ABCs of STDs" at the conference.